Building Relationships and Bikes for Kids, with Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, CA

Kaiser Permanente’s Bike-A-Thon™ charity team building workshop helped employees build better relationships while at the same time building bikes for kids in need.

Kaiser Permanente’s Team Building Day in Oakland, CA

Kaiser PermanenteNo matter the size, pretty much any department can benefit from a team building effort. After all, interpersonal relationships don’t change much on an individual level, whether a department has 20 employees or 200 employees. And improving relationships among coworkers was the goal of our recent Bike-A-Thon™.

We met with a group of about 20 employees at the Oakland Learning Center. We opened with a few ice breaker games to let everyone loosen up a bit, and then divided the group into four teams. Everyone was aware we’d be asking them to assemble bicycles for kids in need, but they had no idea about how that activity related to team building. Once we explained how a Bike-A-Thon™ worked, though, everyone was fully on-board and enthusiastic about it!

Bike-A-Thon™ for Change

While one of our goals was clearly to put together bikes for kids, another key goal of our Bike-A-Thon™ is boosting folks’ skill and comfort in dealing with each other, based on a few primary personality styles. Interpersonal skills are really key to an effective and productive workplace, and our games and activities support that learning. Teams compete for bicycle parts through challenges and obstacles that ask them to squarely face communication issues head on. By the time the workshop is over, we have several bikes for kids in need. And participants have a good handle on resolving conflict, working together, and managing changing priorities as a group.

Helping Local Kids Through the Ecumenical Hunger Program

We’d arranged for the bicycles put together by the Kaiser Permanente team to go to the Ecumenical Hunger Program. This local non-profit organization helps families and children with immediate needs. It also helps with on-going support for healthy, stable living. LaKesha Roberts-Evans arrived in time to say a few words to the group at the end of the program. She shared a few stories about the kids and families she’s worked with, Her remarks made a strong impact on the group. A few of the Kaiser Permanente folks wrote cheerful notes for the kids who’d be receiving these bikes. Roberts-Evans assured everyone that the donations were as meaningful to the kids as they were to the Kaiser Permanente team.

As the day drew to a close, the feedback we received from participants was overwhelmingly positive. One of the group members even shared that he’d been at one of our previous charity team building programs, and was pleased to join us again. It was indeed a great day for this team, and we look forward to working with them again someday.